Anglers: Know the Law
As of January 2012, the use of any lead fishing sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than one ounce is illegal in all inland waters (fresh water) of the Commonwealth. Prohibited tackle includes lead sinkers and jigs weighing less than an ounce regardless of whether they are painted, coated with rubber, covered by attached “skirts” or some other material.
Why Fish Lead Free?
Common Loons are listed on the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act list as a Species of Special Concern. This species of loon reaches the southern limit of its North American range in Massachusetts with its ability for population growth heavily limited by habitat. Keeping lead tackle out of Massachusetts waters will increase the survival of adult loons and their young that already exist and live in this state. With 40 loon pairs breeding in Massachusetts (2016) and successful pairs producing about one chick per year, the loss of one loon can be significant.
Angler’s Guide to Fishing Lead-Free
Non-toxic tackle comes in many metal choices and modern metal alloys offer the angler a number of advantages:
- They are environmentally safe
- They have more sound producing qualities to call in those fish and up your catch
- Tungsten, is more dense and hard than lead, and allows the angler to “feel” the bait more effectively which in turns helps the angler feel the bite
- Tin, Bismuth, and Steel alloy tackle are lighter than lead but many anglers have reported good success with the use of less weight, allowing for a more natural appearance and presentation of the bait or lure used
- Any zinc-containing fishing tackle is not recommended because it is also toxic to wildlife
Where to Buy Lead-Free Tackle in Massachusetts
- Arlington Bait & Tackle: (781) 646-5598, 84 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02474
- River Street Bait & Tackle: (978) 374-8159, 219 River St. Haverhill, MA 01832
- Granby Wholesale Bait: (413) 467-7322, 178 South St. Granby, MA 01033
- Grizz Baits: firstname.lastname@example.org, 168 Moulton Hill Road Monson, MA 01057
- Tom’s Bait and Tackle: (508) 947-8220, 352 West Grove St Middleboro, MA 02346
- Fleck Lures: (508) 481-4408, 283 Lincoln St Marlborough, MA 01752
- Lead-Free Bass Jigs Company: (617) 337-4086. Items are sold at the following locations: Tournament Tackle in Norton MA; Red Top Sporting Goods in Bourne, MA; MGC Fishing in Pemboke, MA; Monponsett Trading Post in Halifax MA.
- Boag Hog Baits: 508-736-0783, 8 King Road North Brookfield, MA 01535
For a list of Online Retailers please click here.
Fish Lead-Free Lead Tackle Disposal/Collection Bins
- You can dispose of lead at any local Hazardous waste collection site
- Lead tackle collection bins and fishing line collection bins are placed at all Quabbin Reservoir fishing areas and at popular fishing gates throughout Quabbin Reservoir, Wachusett Reservoir and the Ware River Watershed
For more information regarding lead-free fishing in Massachusetts please click here.
If you would like to add your local Massachusetts store to the above list please fill out this form: